Furniture Design: Profurn

PORTRAIT DOOK PHOTOS Bernard Bruwer Photography INTERVIEW Tracy Greenwood

Furniture designer and manufacturer Daniel Grobbelaar of Profurn says his passion for design and art is what drew him to working with wood.

Daniel studied interior design and went on to work in the industry for nine years before he established Profurn in 2016 to focus on his passion for furniture design. Besides original pieces made of high-quality timber, mostly locally sourced, Profurn creates and renovates pieces using reclaimed materials. Everything is made by hand.

What made you choose joinery as a career?

It was never a choice; it’s what I love doing. I’ve always had a passion for creating something in a form that doesn’t yet exist.

What are the prospects like for young South African creatives who wish to follow the same path? 

South Africa’s creative manufacturing industry is in a very exciting phase. People around the world are becoming more aware of the amazing work being produced here. Talented and successful designers and manufacturers are motivating others and pushing the level higher, thus creating opportunities for young designers.

Why do you enjoy working with wood?

It is an ever-changing medium, allowing for ever-changing expressions.

What is the most treasured item you have made so far?

It is probably a tiny table made from an offcut of oak and two paperclips that stands on my desk. It is no bigger than a packet of cigarettes and worth nothing to anyone else.

Which furniture makers inspire you most?

Locally, I love the way Dokter and Misses have broken the rules when it comes to shape and colours. Internationally, Ettore Sottsass has set a benchmark for bending the rules of furniture design.

What is on the horizon for Profurn?

I plan to combine sculpting in my furniture pieces.

For more information, visit and find Profurn on Instagram (@profurn).